SiriusXM By the Numbers

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-08-02)

The SiriusXM U2 Channel has ended as of the early morning of July 31, 2018. Throughout the two months that the station was active we’ve been tracking what has been played on the station. We’ve tracked 26599 items, including ads, interviews, and all of the songs that have been played. We believe we’ve managed to capture most of the data over this time, and do not believe we have any major gaps. So we’re happy to present for you today some of the information we collected and a look into what has been played these last two months.

The station ran for for 85860 Minutes (59.6) Days, starting at June 1, 2018 at Noon Eastern, and ending at 03:05am on July 31, 2018 (Eastern). These times were from the kick off of the station at noon, until the last notes of the last U2 song were played. The first song played was U2’s “Beautiful Day” and the last song played was U2’s cover of “Fortunate Son”. During the two months, 265 unique songs were played on the station, with many of these songs being played in multiple versions.During that time it aired on channel 30 on the SiriusXM network, available in the United States and Canada.

During the two months that the station was active, the full Apollo Theater concert was broadcast 19 times. These songs were not tracked individually so we’ve separated these out in some cases. That broadcast was of the full performance with the exception of one song, “Red Flag Day”, which we are told was possibly left out of the broadcast so that it could be used at a later time. Additionally, U2’s “Vertigo” from this performance was played by itself 15 times and those performances are captured in the individual counts.

Throughout the two months interview clips made up 4172 minutes of the total broadcast time, or 4.8% of the total time on air. Live songs made up 13,749 minutes of total broadcast time, or 16.0% of the total time on air, and studio U2 songs made up 62,646 minutes of total broadcast time or 73.0% of the total time on air. The remainder of time was made up of non-U2 tracks (Passengers, the LMC vs. U2 track, Bono solo on “Falling at Your Feet” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and ads for the channel).

Now onto some information about the individual tracks played over the full two months. First we will look at an overall count of the songs which includes when a studio or a live version of the song is played, and includes when a song was played as part of the Apollo broadcast. We’ve combined unique versions of the songs, such as the two different versions of “Sweetest Thing” and the multiple edits of “Walk On”. For those more interested in just the studio tracks, that’s a little further down on the page. Numbers in brackets after the song is the number of plays that we have counted.

Ten Most Played Songs (Including Live Tracks, and Apollo Broadcast):

  • Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way (274)
  • Numb (238)
  • Where the Streets Have No Name (236)
  • Vertigo (235)
  • Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me (233)
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday (230)
  • Gloria (230)
  • Bullet the Blue Sky (227)
  • Discotheque (222)
  • Bad (222)

Ten Least Played Songs (Including Live Tracks, and Apollo Broadcasts):

  • Boomerang II (4)
  • Exodus (4)
  • Beach Sequence (5)
  • Scarlet (6)
  • Where is the Love? (6)
  • A Different Kind of Blue (7)
  • Boomerang I (7)
  • Scarlet (8)
  • The Star Spangled Banner (8)
  • Corpse (These Chains Are Way too Long) (9)

Top Ten Non-Album Tracks (Including Live Tracks, and Apollo Broadcasts):

  • Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me (233)
  • Everlasting Love (205)
  • Can’t Help Falling in Love (183)
  • Sweetest Thing (177)
  • The Saints Are Coming (173)
  • Ordinary Love (170)
  • Electrical Storm (166)
  • Dancing Barefoot (150)
  • Love Comes Tumbling (144)
  • Unchained Melody (136)

Top Ten Non-Singles (Including Live Tracks, and Apollo Broadcasts):

  • Bullet the Blue Sky (227)
  • Everlasting Love (205)
  • Zoo Station (200)
  • Can’t Help Falling in Love (183)
  • A Sort of Homecoming (172)
  • No Line on the Horizon (169)
  • Until the End of the World (164)
  • Silver & Gold (158)
  • Dancing Barefoot (150)
  • Wild Honey (148)

U2 Singles with the Least Play (Including Live Tracks, Apollo Broadcasts):

  • A Celebration (12)
  • If God Will Send His Angels (12)
  • Another Day (18)
  • A Day Without Me (19)
  • I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (33)
  • Mofo (34)
  • Every Breaking Wave (30)
  • The Miracle (of Joey Ramone) (39)
  • The Ballad of Ronnie Drew (40)
  • Window in the Skies (46)

One of the more interesting things that jumped out at us as we were doing this analysis is how similar the play numbers were for June and July. There was very little change overall in how many times a song was played in each month, meaning the frequency of the tracks was likely predetermined, and was consistent each month. For example, “Always Forever Now” was played 14 times in each month, and “Zoo Station” was played 100 times in each month. There was some variation in total, but often songs were quite close. “Discotheque” for example was played 110 times in June, 112 in July. “Fire” was played 62 in June and 69 in July. “Gloria” was played 114 times in June and 116 in July. “Streets” was played 117 times in June and 119 in July. And “Wild Horses” was played 69 times in June and 70 times in July. More times than not the songs were played a very similar amount of times each month. Below we took a look at the ones that did have significant changes between the two months: These counts below do not count in the songs in the Apollo Broadcast.

Biggest Change From June to July (Includes live and studio songs, does not include the Apollo Broadcast):

  • Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way was played 74 times in June, 181 times in July (+107)
  • Angel of Harlem was played 59 times in June, 106 times in July (+47)
  • October was played 48 times in June, 22 times in July (-26)
  • Silver and Gold was played 69 times in June, 89 times in July (+20)
  • Miss Sarajevo was played 64 times in June, 47 times in July (-17)
  • One Tree Hill was played 70 times in June, 87 times in July (+17)
  • Surrender was played 55 times in June, 72 times in July (+17)
  • Love is All We Have Left was played 50 times in June, 33 times in July (-17)
  • Mercy was played 30 times in June, 57 times in July (+17)

It is interesting to note that “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” had only been played once in the first two weeks that the service was on the air, but by the four week mark had become the most played song from the new album. That ramping up of plays continued in July. “Angel of Harlem” was the second most added song in July. The most dropped song in the second month? “October”, down 26 plays from the month before.

The numbers above include live performances of the songs counted in with studio performances of the song. We also wanted to look just at studio performances, and the numbers below include studio U2 performances, as well as non-U2 studio material such as Passengers and Bono solo except where noted otherwise:

Top Ten Played Studio Songs (Includes all Songs):

  • Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way (255)
  • Everlasting Love (205)
  • Numb (202)
  • Zoo Station (200)
  • Gloria (200)
  • Two Hearts Beat as One (196)
  • Sometimes You Can’t Make it On Your Own (194)
  • Bullet the Blue Sky (192)
  • Red Hill Mining Town (190)
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday (185)

Top Ten Non-Album Studio Tracks (Includes Songs that have never been on a regular album):

  • Everlasting Love (205)
  • Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me (180)
  • Sweetest Thing (177)
  • The Saints are Coming (173)
  • Ordinary Love (170)
  • Electrical Storm (166)
  • Dancing Barefoot (150)
  • Love Comes Tumbling (144)
  • Unchained Melody (136)
  • Can’t Help Falling in Love (123)

Least Played Album Studio Album Tracks: (Includes all studio tracks, but none from Passengers):

  • Scarlet (3)
  • I Threw a Brick Through a Window (8)
  • With a Shout (Jerusalem) (9)
  • An Cat Dubh (10)
  • Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World (12)
  • If You Wear that Velvet Dress (11)
  • 4th of July (12)
  • Cedars of Lebanon (12)
  • If God Will Send His Angels (12)
  • Love is Blindess (12)
  • The Ocean (12)
  • So Cruel (12)
  • Stories for Boys (12)

Finally we took a look at the studio tracks to see what other artists listeners to the station would hear:

Non U2 Studio Tracks:

  • Passengers (223)
  • Green Day (173)
  • Johnny Cash (137)
  • Bono Solo (123)
  • BB King (64)
  • Mary J. Blige (49)
  • Kygo (47)
  • LMC vs U2 (44)
  • Daniel Lanois (42)
  • Dubliners / Kila / A Band of Bowsies (40)

It should be noted that live tracks including Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, the Black Eyed Peas, and others were heard during the two months, but these are not included in the totals above.

Last month we took an early look at the station after four weeks on the air, which includes some additional detail on albums played, and sources of material.

If you are interested in seeing the station return, there is a petition set up with over 650 signatures asking that the station be made permanent.

The SiriusXM channel made use of the following sources for their material played throughout the two months that the station was active:

  • The Complete U2 including the Demos EP, Live from Boston 1981, Love: Live from the Point Depot
  • iTunes Releases: Live from Under the Brooklyn Bridge, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, “Invisible” single
  • Fan Club Releases: Hasta La Vista Baby, U2.Communication, Zoo TV Live from Sydney, Go Home: Live from Slane Castle, Medium, Rare and Remasatered, Duals, U22, From the Ground Up, Another Time, Another Place
  • All of U2’s albums including deluxe versions of Boy, October, War, The Unforgettable Fire, The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby, Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience and the compilations, U218, The Best of 1980-1990 and The Best of 1990-2000
  • Other U2 Recordings: “PopHeart” EP, “Elevation” Single, “Wide Awake in Europe” EP
  • Other Recordings: Million Dollar Hotel Soundtrack, LMC’s “Take Me to the Clouds Above” Single, “One” Single by Mary J. Blige, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert Album

The only tracks that have been heard that have not been released in an audio format is “Zooropa” (Live from Paris, 2015) which is taken from the home video recording from the Innocence + Experience tour, and a recording of “Vertigo” taken from the Apollo show on June 11, 2018. “Zooropa” was played on one occasion, and “Vertigo” from the Apollo was played 15 times by itself. Additionally the full Apollo broadcast minus “Red Flag Day” was played on the station 19 times.

< Next News Entry | Previous News Entry > was formerly known as Follow us on Twitter | Facebook